The Orchard was started in Oxford eight years ago and for the last five years they have hosted their Easter service in the Grove as a way to connect with our city. Lead Pastor Pat Ward, along with his wife Sarah, started the church at The Powerhouse in 2006 and since have kept in touch with the local community outside the church, including the art community of Oxford. The gallery onsite at The Orchard currently has three photographers from their churches display and is featured in this month’s Art Crawl.
Pat enjoys leading a community-based church and every year, they partner with The Wesley Foundation to bring an Easter Sunday service to the Grove at 10 a.m. In the past five years, they only got rained out one time. If it rains, they we will conduct regular services at their church’s location at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
“When you have something outside, people tend to feel a little more comfortable in joining our congregation,” Pat said. “I don’t like being inside much of these days when it’s this beautiful outside. The Grove is such a beautiful place. It’s at the heart of the city. We want to celebrate Easter with friends and neighbors and we feel like this a great way to do so.”
“We have our Easter Sunday service every year in the Grove. It’s been a great time to celebrate with our city,” Pat said. “A great time to celebrate in the Christian world — the best thing we have to celebrate and that’s the resurrection of Jesus. But also, it’s a way for us to invite people from all over the city to join with us.”
They will have a lot of music, a message, a special time for kids and give them a little goodie bag of some stuff for them to do on Easter Sunday and just enjoy the beautiful weather. Most years people will bring picnic lunches while everyone is lingering around after the service and Pat encourages everyone to do so. Pat also wants to encourage everyone to bring a chair, a blanket, friends, family and neighbors.
“Come on out and join us,” Pat said. “It’s a great time in the Grove. It’s a good time to celebrate. If you’ve never been and joined us then it may be a fresh way to look at Easter, fresh way to celebrate with your family and our city. So come on out and join us.”
Brittany Bugg is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.